Should all school meals be FREE?

From Rob Rees…

I have been on my travels recently discovering school meal systems around the world and speaking to lots of different people. Did you know that in India they feed 150 Million School Meals every day and for FREE! They make sure they are seasonal and enjoy regional differences. I have to say they just look divine.

Australia has no school meals at all just packed lunches for primary schools and poor quality “tuck” for secondary schools full of processed meat pies and deep fried fatty foods. Australia has the fastest growing obesity crisis in the world!

In Japan people still pay for their school meals at a similar price to here in the UK. There is a big cultural difference there though that the Japanese Government at the beginning of each school year sends a cheque to families from more deprived communities who then spend it wisely on developing their child’s future with a hope that they can pull themselves out of the baseline of poverty – amazing! Do you think every parent would spend it as wisely here? In Hull for sometime all school meals were provided for free but interestingly it still didn’t increase the uptake.

What do you think? Should school meals be FREE?

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5 Responses

  1. I’m all for it, but the PC brigade will have a field day, demanding choice.

    To do it we would reduce the amount of meat and serve a standard meal..but at least our children would be all eating a good nutritous meal.

  2. Lets do it. If people knew what went on with the underspend in Free Schools Meals in many counties there would be uproar….just props up another part of the education system somewhere and doesnt go back into food or the needs of those in need.

  3. Thinking about it now, I would have loved to have greater choice in terms of what we had for lunch. Especially since theres a fantastic range of foods available from the Indian Subcontinent! Man I’m jealous of them, big time! All we had everyday was chips and beans and the only thing different each day was the type of fish! Then again you wouldn’t have seen me complaining then! Dinnertime was my favourite time of the day, apart from leaving time ofcourse! Going back to the main subject of the topic in question, I would never have minded paying for school dinners if the variety was that of Indian School kids.

  4. interesting to see that nobody seems to fussed either way on this……………makes you wonder what price a childs health? did anyone notice that last week the Government announced £20million for Free School Meals trials………………..anyone in the Gloucestershire school food world going to bother……..I guess not.!

  5. I would rather pay money for good quality food – organic food that doesn’t give kids cheap ‘fillers’ such as cheap, white bread or pasta with everything.
    And no, I don’t have a huge disposable income at all, I just prioritise good food.

    If children are fed well, they’re healthier and they can focus and concentrate better. Giving them puffed air for breakfast, cheap food for lunch and expecting them to be well behaved while their stomachs are groaning and they are hyped on additives is madness……………

    So I am all for free dinners as long as they are of good quality; and I wonder how we would achieve that?!

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